Executive Directors Message - April

A 2020 study by the Wall Street Journal examining diversity and inclusion among S&P 500 companies found that diverse organizations achieved higher productivity and innovation. Diversity creates adaptability, which furthers nonlinear thinking patterns and leads to innovation. In the field of ocean science and technology, diversity, collaboration, and innovation are essential for advancement. 

Now more than ever, amid the hardships surrounding the global pandemic, organizations should be focused on diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace. Inclusiveness drives economic growth, industry expansion, and can be an competitive advantage. “Companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and gender-diverse companies are 21% more likely to earn more revenue,” according to a McKinsey report

At MTS, our board and leadership recognizes the imperativeness of diversity, justice, equity, and inclusion. And as such, we held a webinar about our diversity and inclusion initiatives. In promoting the webinar to our membership, we received two inappropriate and unacceptable emails regarding holding a webinar on the topics of inclusiveness and diversity. We responded to the individuals letting them know we did not condone this type of behavior and was not in keeping with the ideals that MTS ascribes to.  

While our membership is not yet an example of the diversity reflected in the United States or globally, we strive to create a Society where all members feel welcome, regardless of their background or identity. MTS serves as the great convener of marine technologists worldwide, and by serving in this role fairly and without prejudice, we hope to attract all marine technologists. As we look to the future of marine technology, it is essential for us to attract ideas and contributions from the full scope and spectrum of professionals in our field. In doing so, we benefit all members, our Society, and the field of Marine Technology. 

These efforts on Diversity and Inclusion may seem tangential to the mission of MTS, however, they are in fact central to our mission as a convener – we aim to convene and include everyone. Diversity and inclusion initiatives broaden our scope, our reach, and our impact. While we understand that not all members will attend our diversity events, we are confident that all MTS members will benefit from these events. 

As always we welcome respectful feedback from our members, please reach out to me [email protected] or Board President Zdenka Willis, [email protected], with any questions.

Katie Herndon

Executive Director

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